Budget Deal Struck In Washington Legislature
By Austin Jenkins
Washington public schools will get an additional nearly $60M , but teachers will not get a cost of living raise this year. That’s the upshot of a budget deal that’s being announced at this hour at the Capitol in Olympia.
This budget deal represents a compromise between the Democratically-controlled Washington House and mostly Republican majority in the state Senate. To reach a deal both sides agreed not to fight over tax breaks. Democrats gave up a proposal to close four tax exemptions. Republicans dropped their plan to extend several tax breaks.
With the tax fight off the table, the two sides compromised around spending priorities. More money will go to public schools to pay for materials, supplies and operations. But teachers will have to wait another year to get their voter-approved cost-of-living raises. Lawmakers will now scramble to pass this update to the state’s two-year budget before the day is out.
Thursday is the last scheduled day of the legislature’s 60-day session.